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Borrego Springs, CA

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victory?

Have you ever seen that commercial where someone calls up their credit card company and gets to talk to someone in the Far East named Peggy?  Well, ‘Peggy’ called me today from the collection agency.  She wasn’t from the Far East.  She was from right here in Chamber’s County (supposedly).  The first words out of her mouth were, “Did you get the itemized bill in your mail last week?”  I said, “Yes, I did.”  “Well, do you want to send us a check or give me your credit card number now to pay what you owe?”  (Fat chance I’d give Peggy my credit card number over the phone!)

IMG_4771

                                                      Juvenile Black-crowned Night Heron

I declined any kind of payment.  I also told her that I had my insurance records in front of me which stated my bill responsibility.  I then said, “As far as I’m concerned, I have paid this bill in full already!”  Her response?  “I’ll note that on your record.”  Click!  No fair-thee-well or goodbye; she just hung up.  Hopefully, that’s the last I’ll hear from ‘Peggy’.  Do these people think we are stupid or what?

After that little encounter, I headed for Beaumont and the HEB grocery store to pick up some fresh fruit.  My first couple of attempts at making fruit smoothies with my new Magic Bullet could be categorized as disasters.  The machine works fine, but my combinations of ingredients I had on hand hasn’t been very appetizing to consume.  Any suggestions from experienced smoothie makers would be greatly appreciated.

_MG_9572                                                             Fulvous Whistling Duck

When I got home, there were some responses to a comment I left on Rick’s blog this morning about using your cell phone for free Google+ phone calls.  I had asked if I could use my laptop for these phone calls.  After reading the suggestions, I gave it a try and it worked!  I used my laptop to call my daughter, Robyn.  It didn’t count against my cell phone minutes, and Rick assured me it wouldn’t use much data on my 5 MG limit on my air card.  Since I have limited minutes on my ‘old farts’ Verizon phone plan (off peak doesn’t start until after 9 pm), I was thrilled.  It’s never too late for an old dog to learn new tricks in my opinion.

After talking to Robyn, I began to think about flying up to Chicago to visit her and Dennis and the grandgirls.  Since I’m here at Anahuac until the end of April, I figured I deserved to take a week off after the new year to visit family.  Avery’s birthday is in February.  Grandma Belt just may be visiting her and ‘Buckle’ fairly soon. 

I remember flying up there in 2008 from Anahuac right after Avery was born to help Robyn out.  I about froze my tutu off in Chicago in February.  Tell me I’m not crazy for contemplating this again…Disappointed smile

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

33 comments:

  1. Didn't know about free Google+ calling, but we have used Skype for years in calling family in the UK. Absolutely free and great sound quality with the added bonus of video! Good for you on putting the collection agency in their place!

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  2. Google Hangouts is great-- you can even do video calls too if you have a webcam on your laptop (but it does consume a bit more data that way, so I'd only use that occasionally & use voice the rest of the time).

    Yes, you are crazy for wanting to attempt Chicago in its coldest, dreariest month (February)-- but as long as you're getting some good grandgirl time (and getting plenty of good Chicago pizza & Italian Beef sandwiches), that should keep your mind off the crummy weather!

    I'm gobbling up all the good Chicago food that I can get this week before leaving to spend the winter in Mexico on Monday!

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  3. 1 cup soy milk
    1/2 container fruit yogurt (I use yoplait)
    Handful of partially thawed fruit
    1/2 partially thawed banana

    I buy the frozen bags of fruit from Wal-Mart. Strawberries, blueberries, mango, peach.

    Mmmmmmmm ..... like a fruit milkshake only packed with nutrients.

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  4. Way to go you "old dog" even though you are definitely young in looks and in heart!

    For anyone else who may read your blog and is wondering about how much data G+ phone calls use it's about 25MB per hour which means you could spend 40 hours on calls and only use up about 1GB ob data. 10 hours a month would net out at about 250MB per month.

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  5. Chicago in Feb...plane..car..house..stay there inside and then reverse

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  6. Freezing you tutu off? That is almost TMI! :cO

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  7. You are no stranger to cold weather in the winter, and it's only for a short time. I'd like to have a reason to go somewhere cold and snowy for a week or so.

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  8. If you google smoothies all kinds of recipes will come up. I tried some that went down the sink as I gagged. But there are some really good ones too.

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  9. I avoid fresh strawberries as they make the smoothie look "gray". I usually use frozen berries, blueberries, cherries, raspberries, blackberries. I also like the frozen tropical fruit. I sometimes make my smoothies "green". Some of my favorites are: one pear, peeled, cored, chopped and a handful of parsley and a 1/2 cup water and a few ice cubes. Another one is one peeled chopped kiwi and 2 stalks celery chopped, leafy tops included, a banana and 1/2 c water and a few ice cubes. Or try 1/2 c fresh squeezed orange juice, large handful of frozen berries and a handful of spring greens - this one turns purple and is real sweet. Winter in Chicago is not fun, but you will enjoy the time with the grandkids.

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  10. You are a brave soul to travel to Chicago in the winter! The only legitimate reason for doing so would be grandchildren :) Go and enjoy.

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  11. Yay! Neotropic Cormorant ...

    almond milk ~ unsweetened OR Greek yogurt ~ plain ... no additives ~ just cultured milk
    scoop of whey protein
    and a handful of one or more of the below ~ all just fruit ... no additives

    frozen banana ... I always get too many it seems ... put em in a baggie and freeze for smoothies... deeeelicous and makes it creamy
    frozen dark sweet cherries
    peaches
    ANY frozen fruit of your choice

    I use frozen fruit instead of ice cubes because I like the texture ... don't like it too watery ~ makes me think I'm having a milkshake... well? I guess I am having a milkshake. ha

    Well? you won't be going outside and playing.. they do have heat I assume and lots of g'baby hugs... sounds good to me. Getting out of the airport into her car or taxi then out of her car or taxi into her house... wear some long johns. ;)

    I have an iPhone with unlimited data usage ... we do face time ... I was unaware of the google plus thing... good ol Rick. just now catching up on blog reading... about to head over there. I just go by blog roll updates when it doesn't lie. lies sometimes.

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  12. You are not crazy to want to visit family after the new year. You might be a LITTLE crazy to want to visit Chicago in February. Just a little. Maybe the END of February? :)

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  13. ditto the smoothie comments. I would keep a pack of frozen fruit, berries, tropicals, etc in my freezer, some plain yogurt and some soy milk, and then some kind of green thingy to add like Vita Green. A banana and some OJ always rounds it out a bit. Then you can get creative with the greens as you go along. Carrots and apples are good too. I love my little Magic Bullet and have had it for years.

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  14. I have heard about magic blender that it makes the work very easy. Traveling to Chicago during this season is great. You have a well condition body :)

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  15. What "Peggy" probably did right after hanging up was file a report to the credit bureau.
    No way do they give up that easy. And hospitals are among the worse. I'd suggest you check with the credit bureau. If she does you will get a nasty surprise if you ever need to charge something again. Buy a car, house, new credit card, etc.

    You will probably have to make copies of your insurance papers and hand carry them to the payment center to show them face to face............probably several times.

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  16. We have gone through a similar situation with a medical issue. Paul had surgery in 2010, and it took us until this past June to get it through the thick hospital head that we paid all we were going to pay. Hope you have heard the last of Peggy also.

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  17. On the other hand, I have had similar experiences and never had anything show up on my report. You get a free copy so wait a bit and check. Love smoothies. Blueberries, banana, frozen or not. Ice cubes or not. water. spinach or not. The color with spinach &blueberries is sort of gray but it tasters good. Add any other fruit you like - apple, pear, etc.

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    Replies
    1. Apparenty the three major agency's give you a free report once a year. . Check with at least two of them

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  18. Can you believe I have never had a smoothie? We visited Chicago once in February when our son graduated from Navy boot camp there. It was chilly! That's cute...Grandma Belt.

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  19. I hope that's it with the collection agency!! You sure do deserve time off to visit family. Maybe February will be mild this year. The weather guys are predicting higher than average snow for the region, but said nothing about temps. A snowy winter usually is a milder winter.

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  20. "The machine works fine, but my combinations of ingredients I had on hand hasn’t been very appetizing to consume. Any suggestions from experienced smoothie makers would be greatly appreciated."

    I'm not a smoothie maker so don't have any suggestions. I am curious about how the ones you made tasted. You make smoothies to drink not to look at; if they taste good then just close your eyes and enjoy.

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  21. Isn't it amazing how rude collection agencies can be?

    On another note, I will NOT be the one telling you you AREN'T crazy going to Chicago in February. We changed our medical approach just to AVOID going to Wisconsin in February each year. That much snow and cold I don't need!!!!!!

    Peter

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  22. I recently bought a new iPhone and had to start a new contract. So, I've lost my unlimited usage plan. My son-in-law encouraged me to get the mobile app called Viber, which I did and I get free phone calls and text messaging with it. I love to keep up with my 8 grandchildren, but they don't email anymore. It's Viber, Instagram, etc.
    As for the smoothies, I went out and bought a Magic Bullet after reading about yours. I'm going to try he ideas by Julia, above, for
    freezing bananas and buying other frozen fruits. And, almond milk? Never tried it but it sounds delicious.
    Hope you never hear another word from the collection agency!

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  23. Do black-bellied whistling ducks really whistle? (Great birdie pics!)

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  24. I am not so sure you have heard the last of them...but I hope so. If you didn't get any bills from the hospital then why would they turn it over for collections? Just for fun I would call the hospitals customer service and ask them...perhaps their billing records have been compromised..or your Health Ins Co records. Could save some poor unsuspecting old person from paying a non existent bill. I suppose Ice Cream and milk and a little fresh fruit wouldn't be called a smoothie:)

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  25. Greek yogurt, banana, and frozen mixed berries. I have to stir mine because the yogurt is too thick to mix well in the Magic Bullet. You can add fruit juice or almond milk if you want it not so thick. I'm going to try adding greens one of these days. I've been told a handful of spinach is good.

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  26. Yes, you are crazy for going to Illinois, but NO, you are NOT crazy wanting to spend family time...Bundle up and do it!! Love, love, love the Spoonbill...one of my all time favorites!!

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  27. I say go for it!! All those hugs will definitely warm you up!!

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  28. You are no more crazy to go back to Illinois than we are to be staying here in Indiana until Dec. 7th.

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  29. We make smoothies with sugar-free instant pudding, typically either vanilla or chocolate. Typically we use a tablespoon or so of the pudding powder, about 1 cup of cold skim milk, and then add a frozen banana and sometimes additional frozen berries. You add enough fruit to get the consistency that you like. Really simple and tasty.

    Mark

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  30. Judy, that duck is a Fulvous Duck. Don't know anything about smoothies though.

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  31. Nice Post. Thank you for sharing this in Your blog

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